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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 06, 1963

BULGARIAN EMBASSY, ATHENS (MINCHEV), CABLE TO FOREIGN MINISTRY

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Bulgarian Embassy in Athens staff member Atanasov reports on Greek media accounts of military preparations to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to Atanasov, Greek newspapers report preparations include Soviet movements in the Mediterranean in response to US submarines carrying Polaris missiles, Bulgarian maneuvers near the Greek and Turkish borders, and an anticipated NATO forward strategy in Greece. Atanasov adds that NATO is preparing the defense of possible attacks on Greece.
    "Bulgarian Embassy, Athens (Minchev), Cable to Foreign Ministry," June 06, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Archive, Opis 5s, a.e. 26, p. 214. Translated by Greta Keremidchieva and edited by Jordan Baev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116262
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Top Secret!

Making a copy is forbidden!

To be returned to Cipher

Department in 48 hours

INCOMING CABLE Nr. 6153

6 June 1963

To: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From: Athens

Written on 6 June 1963 at 12.00 pm

The afternoon government newspaper Apogevmatini pub-dent that NATO command was informed that Soviet nuclear submarines with missiles had entered the Mediterranean in response to the presence of three US submarines with missiles Polaris in this region. According to this information, the armed forces of the Soviet Union and its allies were quickly procuring most modern weapons, especially Bulgaria, which has modernized its troops systematically with Soviet assault weapons. NATO received information that during the last two months the Bulgarian army had conducted a series of maneuvers close to the Greek and Turkish borders. The maneuvers included exercises aiming at achieving full combat readiness.

According to newspaper Katimerini, a NATO declaration states that in the upcoming months the fast adoption of NATO forward strategy in Greece will start, according to which Greek divisions will be deployed in a new pattern at a short distance along the borders. This strategy aims at the preparation for attacks from 50 divisions, used by the Soviet Union. The most dangerous were the divisions located in Romania and Bulgaria. According to NATO command, possible attacks against Greece could come from the north along the rivers Mesta, Struma and Arda. The defense of Greece and particularly of Thrace was estimated as vitally important, and NATO would not leave a single inch of Greek land [unprotected].

ATANASOV

Deciphered on 7 June 1963